Energize Your Brain
Brain Food Hacks To Sharpen Your Mind
Just like your car needs petrol to work, and your muscles need carbohydrates, your brain needs energy to perform. Without energy the brain cannot function efficiently leaving us in a mental slump, lowering our ability to think, remember, concentrate and perform our normal everyday tasks.
Whether you are a busy executive, a stay home mum, or a retiree, it is vitally important to feed your brain for optimal performance.
To give your brain the nutrients it needs to enhance your mental capabilities and stop you having “brain fog”, follow these simple strategies below.
Eat Breakfast To Increase Brain Power
The old saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is absolutely true. Studies have shown us that people who eat a healthy breakfast are more active and efficient at work, think better, have faster reaction times, are able to maintain a high level of mental efficiency and tend to have a more positive attitude overall.
During sleep you have been on an overnight fast, but your body never sleeps, it has been using blood sugar (glucose) to give you the energy needed to keep your system running efficiently; in the morning, every morning, these glucose stores need to be replenished by eating a healthy, nutritional breakfast.
For a good brain booster breakfast it is important to eat:
- Natural carbohydrates from things like oatmeal, whole grain breads, and any other whole grain foods
- Protein (eggs are a great source) – other sources
- Fats – Fats and proteins are digested slowly allowing your blood sugar levels to remain normal longer, giving you more energy for both your body and brain throughout the day
An example of a good brain boosting breakfast would be:
- A piece of fresh fruit
- Two eggs
- A piece of buttered whole wheat toast
- A cup of coffee
Stay away from foods such as breakfast cereals, pastries, donuts and any other high processed sugar foods. They will make your blood sugar spike, giving you a short burst of energy before crashing back down to low levels, leaving you feeling both mentally and physically fatigued.
Eat A Low Carbohydrate Lunch For Brain Enhancement
Your midday meal is your energy booster and will have an impact on your performance, both physically and mentally.
A brain energizing lunch should:
- Be low in carbohydrates – Carbs are nutritious but you may feel a little sluggish after lunch
- Be high in proteins – Proteins will keep give you good, long term mental focus without the sluggish feeling
A good brain boosting lunch would be something like a fresh salad topped with some chicken or tuna (no bread or pasta)
The Importance Of Protein
For laser sharp thinking through the day, eat some form of protein with every meal. Proteins are absolutely essential for both physical and mental performance. They build and repair tissues and contain tyrosine, an amino acid which promotes clear thinking
All protein is utilized by the brain, but the protein found in eggs and yogurt is especially valuable.
Contain choline – essential for making acetylcholine, a chemical needed for normal brain function, choline also reduces cloudy thinking. Other foods high in choline are liver and peanuts
Has a powerful combination of nutrients which include both proteins and carbohydrates, these provide a gradual release of energy for sustained mental and physical performance. It also contains B group vitamins and vitamin D, which are excellent nutrients to give your brain a boost.
Eat Carbohydrates With Your Dinner
For dinner it is important to get some carbohydrates – they provide glucose which is utilized by the brain to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter which will help you get a good night’s sleep and prepare you for the physical and mental demands of tomorrow.
Just A Thought
A good rule of thumb for dinner is to have 4 or five different colors on your normal sized dinner plate, consisting of one meat, or a meat alternative for protein, a source of carbohydrates, and the other 2 or 3 colors should be made up with vegetables. This will generally provide you with the nutrients you need for good all-round health.
Here is a simple guide to eating well
The Importance Of Fruits and Veggies
- Helps the nerves to send messages
- Helps digestive enzymes do their job
- Is important in proper muscle functioning (including the heart)
- Regulates our water balance
- Releases energy from carbohydrates, protein and fats
- Helps prevent mental fatigue
Keep Your Brain Energized With These Tips
- Drink water – Drink 8 – 10 glasses of pure water every day to prevent dehydration. Even mild dehydration will have an effect on your mental performance
- Avoid alcohol – it impairs mental and physical function and can lead to dehydration
- Stay active – remember “healthy body, healthy mind”, well that’s true. Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise has many great benefits including boosting the flow of oxygenated blood to your brain, speeding up reaction time, and aiding in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters required for fast transmission of messages throughout the body.